Theater Arts Open House

You are invited to the Theater Arts Open House
Tuesday, September 2 from 7-9pm in E33.

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Tour de SHASS

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Jay Scheib in the New Yorker

“The Maids” Is a Pile of Fake Flowers


“It’s a measure of Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert’s willingness to stay open and grow as stage performers that they even agreed to appear in the director Benedict Andrews’s version of Jean Genet’s “The Maids.” Andrews, who worked on a new translation of the 1947 play with the writer Andrew Upton, is the kind of director actors are often drawn to—flashy “bad boy” handlers on the prowl for cultural relevance. (Andrews is the director behind the current London revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring the underrated, fascinating Gillian Armstrong.) But Andrews’s edge is borrowed; we’ve already seen his use of video cameras, stylized choreography, soundtracks featuring popular “underground” music, clear glass walls, overstuffed sets, and so on, first in the work of the avant-garde Flemish director Ivo van Hove and then in shows staged by the American director Jay Scheib. These are theatre artists of note, with an interest in how classic material does and does not play in the contemporary world. Unlike van Hove and Scheib, though, Andrews is in thrall to the machinery of culture—stars and sets and the like—and his enthusiasm stops short of where it should really count: the script itself.”



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Keeril Makan work reviewed at Tanglewood

keerilmakan.sachs-1New York Times:

…a concert that also featured Keeril Makan’s “2” (1998), a dazzling duet for violin (Jordan Koransky) and percussion (Joseph Kelly) that began with stark unison attacks. Gradually morphing in pitch, color and speed, the muscular yet subtle work ended in a blaze of noise, alternating groans and screeches, with Mr. Koransky making high static, and Mr. Kelly bowing the edge of a metal sheet.

Boston Globe:

Sound dominated Saturday’s concert, beginning with Keeril Makan’s extraordinary, arresting “2,” a 1998 violin-percussion duo of grim, glinting ecstasy, the rites superbly performed by Jordan Koransky and Joseph Kelly.

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A New England Emmy Award for Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring Through Music

Frederick Harris, Larry Gallagher, Chris Boebel, Craig Milanesi

Frederick Harris, Larry Gallagher, Chris Boebel, Craig Milanesi.  Photo: Eric Antoniou

The 30-minute documentary centered on the world premiere of “Awakening,” a composition by visiting artist Jamshied Sharifi ’83. The music was performed by students in the MIT Wind Ensemble, led by Frederick E. Harris Jr., director of wind and jazz ensembles for MIT Music and Theater Arts.

Read the MIT News Story HERE 

Watch the video HERE

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Anna Kohler in I am Bleeding All Over the Place



Presented as part of “Brooke O’Harra: I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in directing or nine encounters between me and you” (May 16–24) and the spring R&D Season: VOICE.

O’Harra’s “I am Bleeding All Over the Place…” is a protracted performance in the form of a series of studies on directing. The New Museum presents the first three of nine studies that comprise this two-year project. Each iteration takes a variety of forms: Some will be clearly scripted, scored, and rehearsed to perfection, while others will be developed or literally “written” in front of an audience. This examination of the director’s role through different encounters argues that bodies are never neutral. “I am Bleeding All Over the Place” proposes a kind of theater where each person operates as both reader and maker, and where the potency of a performance happens in the experiential, emotional, and phenomenological gaps produced by the encounter of bodies. Each study assumes the form of a public encounter.

“It’s personal.” is the third study in O’Harra’s ongoing project “I am Bleeding All Over the Place.” For this study, O’Harra invites John Jesurun to join her in directing and presenting the project texts (written by O’Harra, Kosmas, Courtney, and Schreck). Both directors will present rehearsed scenes using the same performers (who include Blackwell, Davis, Husiak, Kohler, and Caitlin McDonough-Thayer) and texts (from the earlier encounters). The event will be framed by a filmed conversation with legendary downtown writer and director Jeff Weiss.

A complete list of programs organized as part of, or in conjunction with, “Brooke O’Harra: I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in directing or nine encounters between me and you” includes:

May 16 – I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Are we in conflict?

May 17 – I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Show me.

May 23 – I am Bleeding All Over the Place: It’s personal.

May 24 – A conversation on a few topics relevant to actors, playwrights, directors, and artists, including gender, the everyday, and the extraordinary problem of “conflict removed“*

Brooke O’Harra is a freelance director. She is also Cofounder (with composer Brendan Connelly) of the Theater of a Two-headed Calf and has developed and directed all of their productions. Her most recent Two-headed Calf production, the opera project “You My Mother,” had two runs in NYC, one in 2012 at La Mama ETC and one in 2013 at the River to River Festival. O’Harra also directed, wrote for, and performed in the Dyke Division of Two-headed Calf’s live lesbian soap opera “ROOM FOR CREAM.” O’Harra is currently working on several projects: two performance projects with her partner Sharon Hayes—“Times Passes” (the Performing Garage, NYC) and “Act Two” (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam); a new musical with Lisa D’Amour and Connelly using Jack Spicer’s “Billy the Kid” poem; and “I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in Directing, or Nine Encounters Between Me and You” at the New Museum. She is an Assistant Professor at Bates College.


“Brooke O’Harra: I am Bleeding All Over the Place” is made possible, in part, through the support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Additional support for artist residencies is made possible by Laurie Wolfert.

Generous endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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The Harvard vs MIT Musical – We’ll Get it Right

June 7 | Sat | 3pm | We’ll Get it Right, the MIT vs Harvard Musical,  commissioned by the MIT Class of 1954 in honor of its 60th reunion, written by Michael Ouellette with music and lyrics by Martin Marks, Michael Ouellette and Charles Shadle.  Co-produced by Joseph Blake ’54, Harvey Steinberg ’54 and  Ellen T.  Harris, MIT Professor of Music Emeritus ’54H.  Kresge Little Theater. Free.  Tickets required and available at the door.

June 9 | Mon | 7:30pm | We’ll Get it Right.  Kresge Little Theater.  Free and open to the public.  No tickets required.

For more information, click HERE.

we'll get it right poster Apr9

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Levitan Award Recipients in Music

DavidDeveauPatty tangMIT Senior Lecturer  in Music David Deveau and Associate Professor of Music Patricia Tang are both 2014 recipients of the  James A. and Ruth Levitan Awards for Excellence in Teaching in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Dean Fitzgerald said, ”This prize honors those instructors in our School who have demonstrated outstanding success in teaching our undergraduate and graduate students. These great educators, who are nominated by students themselves, have really made a difference in the lives of our remarkable students — and are among the finest academic leaders in the School. Warmest congratulations!”

The Levitan award recognizes SHASS teachers—professors, lecturers, and graduate teaching assistants—who make a profound difference in the educational experience of MIT undergraduates.

Nominations are made, by students themselves, through the course of the academic year, and reflect the positive role that our educators play in the day-to-day, week-to-week efforts of MIT students as they engage with and excel in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

The 2014 award recipients were chosen by the SHASS Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Associate Dean Kai von Fintel, which included Fotini Christia (Political Science), Myke Cuthbert (Music), Peter Donaldson (Literature), Heather Paxson (Anthropology), Martin Hackl (Linguistics and Philosophy), and Elise Ruan ’14.

Award-winning faculty members and lecturers each receive $2,000 in research funding; graduate student Teaching Assistants receive $1,000.


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MIT Theater Arts at Rinaldi

FINAL Spring 2014 Performance Week

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Mark Harvey’s “No Walls” at City Hall

10245306_10152431590966122_6766568582187975330_nFROM THE JAZZBOSTON FB PAGE:
JazzBoston and Boston jazz made history at noon on April 30 when live jazz filled the City Council Chamber for the first time ever. At the Council’s invitation, we brought a band to celebrate International Jazz Day, another first for the City of Boston, with a performance of “No Walls,” Mark Harvey’s composition and the official song of Jazz Week ’14. The Council then presented JazzBoston executive director Pauline Bilsky with a resolution recognizing International Jazz Day in the City of Boston and congratulating the organization on its efforts both to increase awareness of the importance of jazz in Boston’s cultural heritage and daily life and to use jazz to bring people together. Members of the quintet formed for the occasion were Arni Cheatham-saxophone, Bill Lowe-trombone, Jason Palmer-trumpet, John Funhouser-keyboard, and MIT student Adrian Grossman-electric bass. Special thanks to Councilors Michelle Wu and Tito Jackson for offering the IJD resolution and two additional resolutions praising JazzBoston and Bilsky for their contributions to the jazz community and the promotion of arts and culture in the City of Boston.

Photo by David Vittorini, Chief of Staff to Councilor-At-Large Wu.  — with Mark Harvey, Jason Palmer, Arni Cheatham, John Funkhouser, Adrian Grossman, Bill Lowe, Pauline Bilsky, Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu and Councilor Tito Jackson.

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